Tropical Storm Epsilon forms, will send waves to Outer Banks later this week

Tropical Storm Epsilon was centered 735 miles southeast of Bermuda on Monday. [NHC graphic]

The record breaking 2020 hurricane season resumed activity on Monday, as Tropical Storm Epsilon formed in the central Atlantic Ocean.

Epsilon is forecast to be at or near hurricane strength when it approaches Bermuda late this week, and swells from the system will bring high surf and increased risk of rip currents along the Outer Banks through the coming weekend.

It becomes the earliest 26th named system to form in the Atlantic basin on record, beating the previous mark set by Delta on November 22, 2005.

At 11 a.m. Monday, the center of Tropical Storm Epsilon was located 735 miles southeast of Bermuda. The storm was stationary and little overall motion is expected through tonight.

A slow west-northwestward to northwestward motion should begin on Tuesday, and this motion should continue through midweek.

Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph with higher gusts. Gradual strengthening is forecast during the next 72 hours, and Epsilon is forecast to be at or near hurricane strength by early Thursday.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles primarily to the northeast and east of the center. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1000 mb (29.53 inches).

The National Hurricane Center said that while it is too soon to determine the exact details of Epsilon’s track and intensity near Bermuda, there is a risk of direct impacts from wind, rainfall, and storm surge on the island.

Other than increased swells along the beaches, Epsilon will stay far enough offshore not to cause any other impacts to the Outer Banks.

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Sam Walker is news director for OBXToday.com, Beach 104, 99.1 The Sound, Big 94.5 and News Talk 92.3 WZPR. Reach him at [email protected]